To add on to the excitement of many die-hard Bobcats’ fans, in addition to the Hornets’ name coming back home, it was also announced that the Hornets’ history and stats recorded from 1988-2001 would return to the city of Charlotte. To commemorate this occasion, I have created a top-10 list of the best basketball players to ever play in the Queen City.
Honorable Mentions: Kemba Walker, Kendall Gill, David Wesley, and Bobby Phills
#10: Emeka Okafor
Drafted second overall by the Bobcats in the 2004 NBA Draft, Okafor proved to be a solid center during his time in Charlotte, averaging 13.2 points per game and 10.6 rebounds per game as a Bobcat. Even today, Okafor is currently the franchise’s all-time leading rebounder with 3,516 boards.
#9: Baron Davis
Unfortunately, Baron Davis only played three seasons with the Hornets due to the team’s relocating to New Orleans in his fourth year. During his time in Charlotte, however, he proved to be a fantastic point guard, making the all-star team in 2002. Had he gotten a chance to stay in the Queen City, he could have brought great things to the team.
#8: Stephen Jackson
When the Bobcats traded for Jackson in 2009, he started playing at a high level, propelling the Bobcats to their first playoff berth during the best season of his career. Averaging 19.8 points per game during his time in Charlotte, he remains as one of the most popular Bobcats in the city.
#7: Dell Curry
As fan favorite since he first put on the purple and teal, Curry is the Hornets’ all-time leading scorer with 9839 career points. Ultimentally, Curry was ultimately one of the most effective players in Charlotte basketball history.
#6: Al Jefferson
Putting him in the list after only one year might be a stretch, but I am confident Big Al will continue to build on an amazing 2013-2014 season in which he averaged 21 points and 10 boards a game as a Bobcat.
#5: Muggsy Bogues
Little Muggsy is and always will be the heart and soul of the Charlotte Hornets. While his career numbers of 8.8 points and 8.8 dimes a game aren’t hall-of-fame numbers, Bogues was an amazing leader and is the most recognizable players in Charlotte basketball history.
#4: Glen Rice
During his time in Charlotte, Glen Rice was exceptional, averaging 23.5 points a game in purple and teal while making the all-star game three times as a Hornet.
#3: Gerald Wallace
Many may disagree with me putting Crash in front of Rice, but Wallace (also an all-star) was a major part of the franchise during the Bobcats’ era, averaging 16.4 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in Charlotte. In fact, Wallace was such a big part of the organization that on the day he was traded to Portland, I believe the whole city wept.
#2: Alonzo Mourning
As One of two Hornets’ Hall of Famers, Mourning averaged 21.3 points per game and 10.1 rebounds per game during his time in purple and teal. However, Mourning was drafted by the Hornets, but is best known for his time in Miami. Ultimately, his decision to leave Charlotte was devastating to the franchise, but is still deserving of the number two spot on our list.
#1: Larry Johnson
There is not much I can say about Larry Johnson that hasn’t already been said. Ultimentally, Johnson is one of the best athletes to ever call the Queen City home and the star that the Hornets got their hands on. Averaging 19.8 points a game in purple and teal, Johnson still proves to be the best Hornet of all time.
Do you agree with the list? If not, feel free to comment below.
Lead Hornets Writer: Jonathon Hoppe